Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to be named to a fifth term as Israel’s prime minister, even in the midst of potential indictments for bribery and breach of trust pending.
But after about a decade in power, his win was not so assured before the country voted on April 9.
Netanyahu has become an increasingly polarizing figure. Now, he holds only a slim lead over his rival, Benny Gantz, a centrist and former chief of general staff of the Israel Defense Forces, and the country votes today on its future leader.
In a show of solidarity with Netanyahu and his historically tough stance on Iran, President Donald Trump designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a foreign terrorist organization.
The BBC describes the Revolutionary Guards as “a major military, political and economic force in Iran, with close ties to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and many other senior figures.”
Iran denies supporting terrorists.
The New York Times wrote about Trump’s announcement and its relationship to the Israeli elections:
The timing of Mr. Trump’s announcement appeared aimed at giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel a final boost in a tight re-election campaign before a vote on Tuesday. Mr. Netanyahu and Trump administration officials have said Iran is the greatest threat to Israel, and Mr. Netanyahu immediately thanked Mr. Trump in a Twitter post.
Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly raised the specter of the Iranian threat to Israel and tried to reinforce the notion that his close ties to Mr. Trump strengthen Israeli security.
We talk about the outcome of the Israel elections, the history of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and what the new foreign terrorist organization designation means for US-Iran relations.
Produced by Stacia Brown. Text by Stacia Brown.
Aaron David Miller, Vice president and distinguished scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center
former U.S. Middle East adviser in Republican and Democratic administrations
Robin Wright, Analyst and fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center; author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World”; contributing writer to The New Yorker;
Negar Mortazavi, Iranian-American journalist and consultant editor, The Independent
For more, visit https://the1a.org.
© 2019 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.